I have been working with the National Crittenton Foundation for five years. I have partnered with many national non profit organizations over the years and I can truly say this is one of the most thoughtful, impactful, and genuine voices for children and youth that I've ever had the honor of knowing. The most impressive thing about Crittenton is how they listen to the voices of girls and young women to inform their advocacy. They truly have the needs, experiences, challenges, and successes of the individual girls front and center in their work.
The collective voice of the local Crittenton agencies is making a difference in ensuring that girls and young women who are victims of abuse, neglect and sexual violence get the right help at the right place at the right time. They have changed the way I look at the world for the better and given me new hope about the incredible strength and resilience of survivors.
I am honored to be affiliated with this amazing organization! As a former resident of Florence Crittenton Maternity Home- Charlotte, I have been able to use my voice to speak on my experiences as a young teen releasing my child for adoption, my experiences in the foster care system, and now, as a single mom to three boys. I am incredibly grateful the National Crittenton Foundation provides women like me the opportunity and platform to speak up and be heard!
For 130 years, Florence Crittenton organizations in the United States have assisted milions young women and their families become more independent, fulfilled and productive members of our communitities. For most of decades of its existence the organization has maintained a profile out of the limelight in its helping role but in the last few years, a concerted effort has been made to not only advocate for the needs of marginalized young women but to the aide them in advocating for themselves. The young women are activley taking the initiative to give legislators and the community at large a greater undertanding of their strengths and the trememdous potential they possess. Significant efforts are being made to break the cycles of poverty, ineffective parenting, abuse and neglect that majority of these young women have faced.
As a former client and now Board Member, I have seen the Crittenton agencies & The National Crittenton Foundation from many perspectives. Once a client, I will always appreciate that there was a place for my son & me to live while trying to bridge the gap between a difficult family environment and the independence I knew I was capable of achieving. As a Board Member for National Crittenton, we continue to support our family of agencies & be the national voice of so many young women trying to break the cycle of negative family patterns.
When I count my blessings, Crittenton is at the top of them. Crittenton has enriched my life on so many levels over the past 20 years. At 16, along with my my two-year old son, I moved into the Southern California-based Crittenton home. My stay at Crittenton served as a pivotal point of change for the better in my life & the life of my son. Growing up in a household filled with constant fighting, verbal & physical abuse, I had visions of a different life for us. Thankfully, there was a place for both my child & I to stay during a time of many transitions. Thanks to the program structure & caring staff members, I was able to save enough money to move into my own apartment at the young age of 18. The feeling of being able to provide for myself & son was so empowering! I went on to earn a bachelor's degree from CSU, Fullerton. I am forever grateful for the concrete foundation Crittenton offered for me to be successful in life. Now, I am a member of the Board of Trustees for The National Crittenton Foundation. They have opened up so many doors for me to give back & help empower other young women. The staff members at The National Crittenton Foundation are top-notch & committed to making a difference for young women everywhere.
As a volunteer at Florence Crittenton-Wheeling, WV, I began a birthday party social once a month to celebrate the girls and children born in that month. This September marks our second year and we have celebrated hundreds of teenagers and toddlers. What sparked my interest was a comment made by one of the residents. She stated it was her birthday and she never felt that any one cared that she was even born. I wanted to change that. She is so important...her life does matter...she is special...and God has a plan for her future no matter what her past was like. I look forward to each birthday and take cake, ice cream, pop and gifts. I am glad to be a part of the Florence Crittenton Volunteers!
Becoming a volunteer at Crittenton stated by me saying I wanted to rock babies since I retired. This person in turn got a job there as a nurse, called her Mom and told me they needed volunteers. A couple of phone calls later I was there filling out papers. If you go on a regular basis you become attached to the babies probably more that the girls. I know some really appreciate it more than others and that is ok. The staff is always very appreciative. I guess I just hope that some of the mom's will realize that there are people, perfect strangers even, that want to help them. Not point fingers just pure help. The babies are so helpless and I hope that since they are at Crittenton that will give them a better future and hope. I hope I have made a difference for someone.
The National Florence Crittenton Foundation has provided outstanding guidance and support to our agency and to the young women we serve who are pregnant and parenting teen mothers. They send us the latest updates on best practices in the field, listen to the voices of our young women so as to better understand needs and challenges; and provide leadership training to young women. I am extremely impressed with their leadership and advocacy on behalf of all young women in this country. They are truly making a difference !!
I've seen tremendous growth and scalability of The National Crittenton Foundation's impact over the past three and a half years that I've been on the board. I've met with girls and women who have benefitted from programs and funding generated by the Foundation, including advocacy on Capitol Hill, social media campaigns, initiatives to measure the impact of services delivered, and more. I'm looking forward to giving more of my time in the future to help The National Crittenton Foundation ensure that all girls, young women and their families live safely in a just world in which they can visualize and achieve their unique potential as healthy, contributing members of society.
Initially I was a Board member of the Southern California Crittenton Agency in Fullerton, California from 1991-1996. I then joined The National Crittenton Foundation in 2001 and I am presently the Treasurer. I have also rejoined the Fullerton Agency Board in 2009. In this time I have had the priviledge of visiting 14 of the 27 Agencies. What keeps me coming back is the change in the look in the young ladies eyes. When they first arrive they are scared and in survivor mode. After a time the look becomes trusting and full of hope. Not only do they gain self esteem, many continue their education into college, and they become valuable members of our society.
I have been volunteering at Florence Crittenton for 6 months. It has been a priveledge to get to be part of what they are doing there. Getting to know the girls and help them prepare to care for their children has been a gift. The staff has been so wonderful in helping me get involved. They've even taken care of my children so that I could sit in on volunteer meetings! I can't begin to say what a worthy and wonderful organization this is.
When I say I am a professionalin this field I mean I am a survivor of human trafficking. I have been out of the life for 23 years and have been advocating for other victims of trafficking for 5 years. I met the Crittenton foundation last year where they had their open house of their office in Portland. Since hen I have built a relationship with them and they have helped our small group of trafficking survivors through allowing us to use their space for meetings and allowing us office space. Our group is called Survivor to Survivor. I have been acoomunity oraganizer for 18 years and this organziation is very impressive. We shared the same philosophy as meeting people where they are as well as their long term dedication to their clients. I have never met a group that has consistently stuck to their mission for 129 years!
I am the CEO of any agency affiliated with The National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF). We are not legally or financially tied to the Foundation, but voluntarily participate with agencies across the county as partners in purpose. In that context, I have been a keen observer of the work of TNCF and can attest to its vision, character, and impact. TNCF consistently matches its actions to its purpose, conducts its activities ethically, and has been constant in its efforts to better the lives of at risk girls and young women. TNCF continues to provide a collective voice for the thousands of girls and young women served, not just by its affiliate agencies, but by all providers working with this population. I am proud to be a partnering agency and personally touched by all they do.
I have had the pleasure of working with the National Crittenton Foundation for the past four years. During this time, I have come to respect this organization as a unique leader in the area of women's empowerment. They have grown tremendously as policy advocates and continue to do a lot with very limited financial resources. More and more they are called upon by our nation's elected officials for their input and opinions in their niche area of marginalized women and girls. Through their member organizations, Crittenton ably represents women of 31 states.
I have represented our local agency to the National Crittenton Foundation for almost 10 years. The National Crittenton Foundation has provided our agency with excellent opportunities to network with similar agencies accross the nation, exceptional professional development and agency development training, opportunities to advocate for pubic policy on the federal, state, and local level, and support for fund raising and program development. On a personal note I was provided training and support to advocate to numerous US Legislative Representatives from my state for a variety of issues that were important to my agency. The training and support was invaluable and allowed me to come back to my home state and continue the effort which included several invited testimonials to my state's House of Representatives and Senate which resulted in positive policy and funding changes. This would not have been posible with out the training and support I received from the National Crittenton Foundation. Additinally, the Executive Director of the National Crittenton Foundation, Jeannette Pai-Espinoza, is a knowledgable, caring , supportive professional that acts as a resource on a variety of levels for all the agencies within the "Family of Crittenton Agencies".
My name is Catherine Kamara. I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa and was raised in Maryland/ DC. My journey with The Crittenton Foundation started in Feburary 2007, I was seventeen at the time and my newborn was five days old. The thought of my son and I being in custody did not settle too well with me at first. The day my son and I entered the doors of Florence Crittenton Services in Charlotte, North Carolina I was reassured immediately that this was a safe environment for us. I have lost both of my parents at a very young age and the only person I had trust in just gave me up for custody, so you can say I had little to no trust or faith left in anyone else. It took a lot for me to start trusting others but the staff at Florence Crittenton Services made it easier for me to start trusting again. Florence Crittenton Services was the first place my son called home and it was the first place since my parents died that I actually felt safe in, meaning not having to worry about my next meal, how the bills were going to get paid, or who will give me that boost of positivity when I felt like giving up in life. I have been out of foster care for about three years now and to this day I still continue to stay in contact with my FCS family. The National Crittenton Foundation has opened up doors for me no one else has. I have met some beautiful inspiring smart women that have walked in the same shoes that I have, as in having family members that abused them, not having the right resouces to help them, and being a single teenage mother. I can truely say these ladies are the big sisters that I've always wanted as a kid and I'm grateful to have met them in my adult life. When I'm with them I feel like I can speak about anything that's troubling me in life and not get judged by it. The last thing I need is to have someone judging my every footstep. With these ladies I have learned that it is ok to make mistakes and get right back up and correct them. They say God places certain people in your life for a reason, and I truels believe this. I really appreciate the ladies of TNCF for entering my life when I most needed someone.
I received services from Crittenton Services in my teens. Their support has allowed me to break the cyle of abuse, poverty and under-education in my life as well as build a legacy of success for my daughter and generations to come
During my formative years (14-18 years old) I was placed at Crittenton in Fullerton CA. I know I was hard to handle, but Crittenton was perfect to and for me in every way. They really guided and assisted me through a really difficult time in my life. I am still in contact with some of the Crittenton staff, and the connections I have made with them have proved invaluable to me; even now that I am 22 years old and living on my own.
As President of an all-volunteer advocacy organization for girls, volunteering as a partner with The National Crittenton Foundation has been a growthful and supportive opportunity. Combining our Oregon voice with a national organization supporting girls living at the margin of the American dream overcome major obstacles rooted in circumstances not of their own making enhances our advocacy and the abililty of young women's voices to be heard.
The National Crittenton Foundation advocates for the needs of vulnerable young women. They are the national expert on young women's issues, particularly system-involved young women with histories of abuse and neglect. Their focus is on empowering these young women, promoting evidence-based services which foster self-sufficiency. Their National Campaign "We are not invisible" has been educating the country about the realities of neglect, sexual abuse, and sexual trafficking in our own country.
The National Crittenton Foundation provides guidance and support to the Crittenton Family of Agencies, all of whom serve at-risk young women in the U.S. I am Director of Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. The National Crittenton helps us in myriad ways: training in evidence-based modalities, updates on national policy issues that impact our work and clients, conferences to promote best practices, and guidance in non-profit management. The staff are professional and extremely easy to work with. I have never known a better group of individuals who are more committed to help young women.